Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt

S
Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt
Army of Occupation
At Arlington, 1866 The summer blew its little drifts of sound—
Tangled with wet leaf-shadows and the light
Small breath of scattered morning buds—around
The yellow path through which our footsteps wound.
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Counsel—In the South
My boy, not of your will nor mine
You keep the mountain pass and wait,
Restless, for evil gold to shine
And hold you to your fate.

A stronger Hand than yours gave you
The lawless sword—you know not why.
That you must live is all too true,
And other men must die.

My boy, be brigand if you must,
But face the traveller in your track:
Stand one to one, and never thrust
The dagger in his back.

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Giving Back the Flower
So, because you chose to follow me into the subtle sadness of night,
And to stand in the half-set moon with the weird fall-light on your glimmering hair,
Till your presence hid all of the earth and all of the sky from my sight,
And to give me a little scarlet bud, that was dying of frost, to wear,

Say, must you taunt me forever, forever? You looked at my hand and you knew
That I was the slave of the Ring, while you were as free as the wind is free.
When I saw your corpse in your coffin, I flung back your flower to you;
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Hearing the Battle.—July 21, 1861
One day in the dreamy summer,
On the Sabbath hills, from afar
We heard the solemn echoes
Of the first fierce words of war.

Ah, tell me, thou veilèd Watcher
Of the storm and the calm to come,
How long by the sun or shadow
Till these noises again are dumb.

And soon in a hush and glimmer
We thought of the dark, strange fight,
Whose close in a ghastly quiet
Lay dim in the beautiful night.

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The Old Slave-Music
Blow back the breath of the bird,
Scatter the song through the air,
There was music you never heard,
And cannot hear anywhere.

It was not the sob of the vain
In the old, old dark so sweet,
(I shall never hear it again,)
Nor the coming of fairy feet.

It was music and music alone,
Not a sigh from a lover’s mouth;
Now it comes in a phantom moan
From the dead and buried South.

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